Viral Hoax Reminds Us to Watch What Children Watch
An Internet Safety Message from Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. Ed.D.
We want to make you aware of what seems to be the latest viral challenge targeting children. It is called the Momo Challenge, and it centers around a disturbing character suggesting dangerous tasks for kids to perform. From what we have learned, these and other suggestions can also be found spliced into some YouTube Kids videos, including Fortnite and Peppa the Pig. This challenge also occurs through an app called WhatsApp, which could function on both phones and tablets.
We recommend that you talk to your child about these kinds of challenges, in a way that you feel is appropriate for their understanding. Given the connection and concern with messages within YouTube Kids videos, we also recommend that you monitor what your child is watching and screen the videos, even if they appear to be safe, to ensure their viewing does not include harmful messages.
The links below offer some information about the Internet hoax and resources to help you set rules at home:
- Forbes - “Don't Panic, What Parents Really Need To Know About 'Momo Challenge'”
- CNN - “Parents, please stop freaking out over the Momo Challenge”
- Common Sense Media - “13 Online Challenges Your Kid Already Knows About”
In our schools, we are aware of this trending issue and continue working to ensure students follow safe Internet use. Throughout the school year, our teachers reinforce the expectations for safe use and responsible practices described in our Student Digital Safety contracts. They also use the Common Sense Media resources and our lesson bank to teach grade-specific digital citizenship lessons.
If you have any further questions, please contact your child’s school.